Rovuma LNG Terminal
|This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.|
Rovuma LNG Terminal is a proposed LNG terminal in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique.
- Operator: Mozambique Rovuma Venture
- Parent: ExxonMobil (28%), Eni (28%), China National Petroleum Corp. (14%), Galp (10%), KOGAS (10%), and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (10%)
- Location: Rovuma Basin, offshore Mozambique
- Coordinates: -10.753277, 40.798272 (approximate)
- Capacity: 15.2 mtpa (7.6 mtpa per train)
- Status: Proposed
- Type: Export
- Trains: 2
- Cost: US$30 billion
- Financing: US$1.5 billion in political risk insurance from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
- Start Year: 2025
Rovuma liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is a 15.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) LNG export facility planned to be developed to liquefy and market gas resources from three reservoirs in the Area 4 block of the Rovuma Basin, offshore Mozambique. Mozambique Rovuma Venture (MRV), a joint venture of ExxonMobil (40%), Eni (40%), and CNPC (20%) is the operator and holds 70% interest in the Area 4 exploration and production concession contract. Galp, KOGAS, and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos each hold a 10% interest in the block. Eni is in charge of the construction and operation of the upstream facilities on behalf of MRV, while ExxonMobil will lead the construction and operation of the LNG and associated facilities for the deepwater Area 4 block.
The Ministry of Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA) of Mozambique approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Rovuma LNG project in June 2014. The development plan for the first phase of the Rovuma LNG project was submitted in July 2018, which was approved by the Government of Mozambique in May 2019. The final investment decision (FID) on the multi-billion-dollar Rovuma LNG project is expected in the first half of 2020, while the construction works are expected to be started in the same year. It's expected to be brought on stream in 2025.
The first phase of the Rovuma LNG project will comprise two liquefaction trains of 7.6Mtpa each. The LNG trains will be equipped with H-100 gas turbines and liquefaction compressor units from Mitsubishi. Each dual-shaft H-100 gas turbine will have a rated capacity of 120MW. The Rovuma LNG plant will receive up to six billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas a day from as many as 60 production wells in Area 4 offshore block. The feed gas for the liquefaction facility will be supplied through a new 45km-long subsea pipeline corridor. The marine facilities for the project will include a multi-purpose dock (MPD) to support the primary construction activities, and an LNG export jetty with two marine loading berths to accommodate LNG carriers. The site will also feature a 1.7km-long temporary airstrip and a 3.5km-long permanent airstrip. The initial production life of the Rovuma LNG project is estimated to be 30 years.
In March 2020, it was reported that disruption to construction workers as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic combined with a heavily deflated global gas market will delay the final investment decision (FID) on Exxon Mobil's US$30 billion Rovuma LNG Terminal project in Mozambique. The FID had been expected to take place in the first half of 2020 and, according to various sources familiar with the project, the most optimistic scenario is for the project to receive formal go-ahead in the second half of 2020. One of these sources said: “COVID-19 is affecting guys going into Mozambique, it’s affecting Chinese and Korean financiers, and clearly you’ve had the arse drop out of the oil market”. Exxon itself is considering substantial cuts to its capital spending plans and operating expenses in the initial fall-out from the COVID-19 outbreak and the related shocks to global commodities markets. On April 16, 2020, it was reported that Rovuma LNG construction site had been shut down and quarantined due to COVID-19 infections among workers.
In May 2020, Reuters reported Mozambique’s National Petroleum Institute's expectation that the project's FID will be postponed to 2021. An Exxon spokesperson dismissed this as "third party speculation" while confirming that FID would not take place in 2020, but declined to give a firm date for when it would take place.
In July 2020, ExxonMobil announced that FID on the Rovuma LNG Terminal would be "delayed until market conditions improve."
In April 2021, Fitch Solutions said in an investor note: "Due to persistent militant activity and uncertainty regarding project nancing, we are sceptical about ExxonMobil's Rovuma LNG project starting to bear fruit in the near term, and consequently do not foresee an FID until 2023, with risks trending to the downside".
In May 2021, and as a result of the severe security situation which has engulfed the region for most of 2021, Rystad Energy pushed out its forecast start-up date for Rovuma from 2027 to 2029.
In June 2021, Portuguese energy company Galp Energia, a partner in the project with a 10% stake, said that, due to the poor security situation caused by attacks by militants in northern Mozambique's Cabo Delgado region, it would not invest in the project until the authorities guarantee security and social stability, which "may take a while". Galp's CEO told Reuters that his company did not include investments in Rovuma's onshore facilities in its net capital expenditure plan for the next five years.
The Rovuma LNG project is based on three gas reservoirs of the Mamba complex in the Area 4 block of the Rovuma Basin. Located approximately 40km off the Cabo Delgado coast in Northern Mozambique, the Mamba gas field was discovered in October 2011. The Area 4 is estimated to hold a total of 85 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas reserves, out of which the Rovuma LNG project targets the development and commercialization of 21.7 Tcf of high-quality gas resources. The other major project sanctioned for development in the Area 4 is the Coral South FLNG Terminal, a 3.4Mtpa floating LNG (FLNG) project, which has been under construction since September 2018.
In March 2020, ExxonMobil discontinued its application to receive up to US$2 billion in financing for the Rovuma LNG project from the Export-Import Bank of the US (Exim). It's widely believed that the decision was taken because Exim Bank cannot authorise a loan or guarantee exceeding US$25 million for which "the end user, lender, or debtor is the government of China", until it reports to Congress and consults government officials, "as deemed appropriate by the (US) president, to assess any risks posed by the entity or the transaction to the national interest of the US". The bill's definition of 'the government of China' includes any state-owned company, such as China National Petroleum Corp. Other export credit agencies remain in talks to help finance Rovuma, including Sinosure China, South Korea's Kexim and K-Sure, JBIC in Japan and South Africa's ECIC.
In September 2020, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) approved US$1.5 billion in political risk insurance to support the development and operation of an onshore natural gas liquefaction plant and supporting facilities in Area 4 of Rovuma Basin.  According to DFC, "The project will advance development across Mozambique, with significant associated GDP benefits expected to accrue to sectors beyond oil and gas." 
Articles and resources
- Rovuma LNG Project, Mozambique, NS Energy, accessed April 30, 2020
- 2020 World LNG Report, page 102, International Gas Union, April 27, 2020
- Helen Reid, Emma Rumney, Stephen Jewkes, "Exclusive: Exxon and Total in talks over Mozambique LNG resource-sharing deal - sources", Reuters, Nov. 26, 2020
- "U.S development finance institution to fund energy and gas development in Mozambique", Reuters, Sep. 10, 2020
- Exclusive - Coronavirus, gas slump put brakes on Exxon's giant Mozambique LNG plan Reuters, Mar. 21, 2020
- Iaian Esau, Entire Afungi LNG site in Mozambique under lockdown, Upstream Online, Apr. 16, 2020
- "Mozambique expects Exxon gas project decision next year", Reuters, Jun. 3, 2020
- "GIIGNL 2021 Annual Report”, page 39, GIIGNL, accessed May 4, 2021.
- Mozambique: ExxonMobil will only decide in investment in two years", Opera News, April 2021
- Marcy de Luna, "Mozambique insurgents threaten LNG market balance", Houston Chronicle, May 7, 2021
- Sergio Goncalves, "EXCLUSIVE Galp to hold off on LNG investment until Mozambique ensures security", Reuters, Jun. 15, 2021
- Iain Esau, "ExxonMobil aborts Rovuma's US Exim Bank loan bid", Upstream, Mar. 12, 2020
- "DFC Approves $3.6 Billion of New Investments in Global Development in Largest Quarter Ever", U.S. International Development Finance Corporation press release, Sep. 9, 2020